Friday Photo Challenge: The Weirdest Thing in My House

“Is it a tooth?” my wife asked. No. You’re holding it upside down. It’s a ceramic rabbit head by artist Debbie Masuoka. (Longtimers might recall her husband’s eponymous gallery, on Maryland Parkway facing Circle Park, or his time running the Nevada Institute for Contemporary Art.) Debbie Masuoka specializes in rabbit heads, often huge — six feet or more — though this one clocks in at just under 10 inches. Some 30 years ago, it was the first piece of real art I ever bought, and remains a favorite. It marked my first step toward an idea of myself as the kind of person who might love art enough to buy it. And its mojo hasn’t dwindled: When I told my wife my assignment was to photograph “the strangest object in your house,” we both said, in unison, “the rabbit head.” Scott Dickensheets

This is Time's Encomium, a 1969 album by experimental composer Charles Wuorinen. It's difficult listening at its finest; it sounds like toy robots bickering heatedly in an empty oil drum that's rolling down the side of a volcano. And then it gets really difficult, hitting peaks of frenetic discordance that make you want to flee the house and eat your skin. I picked it up at 11th Street Records, intrigued by the cover art and the fact that there's an entire explanatory essay on the cover. Here's what Wuorinen himself said about the album:

"Time's Encomium is the title because in this work everything depends on the absolute, not the seeming, length of events and sections. Being electronic, Time's Encomium has no inflective dimension. Its rhythm is always quantitative, never qualitative. Because I need time, I praise it; hence the title. Because it doesn't need me, I approach it respectively; hence the word 'encomium.'"

I have no idea what that means. Andrew Kiraly

Why do I save these creepy, yellowed old surgical gloves?
Because I wore them during a volunteer trip to Costa Rica, where we saved a green sea turtles eggs from poachers by gathering them in the middle of the night and taking them to a nearby hatchery. Heidi Kyser



My house was built in the early 1950s and has all kinds of anachronistic quirks. In one of the bathrooms, there's an old wall heater grate thingie that, whenever I'm in a particular late-hour nightmare headspace, I'm afraid is going to disgorge a writhing, malevolent avalanche of scorpions and spiders. One time I absent-mindedly flipped the switch, assuming that, surely, the device had long been disconnected or broken. Hours later I walked into the furnace-hot bathroom to find the grate glowing orange with angry heat. Confirmed: IT'S A GATEWAY TO HELL! Andrew Kiraly

This is not a portable toilet chair. 
It's actually a yoga prop -- for doing inversions without putting weight on your head/neck. Heidi Kyser



During this “stay at home” time, I have been working on projects around the house, one of which was to put together and paint the Adirondack chair I bought last fall when I first moved in to my house. Best purchase I’ve ever made. I find myself sitting out my patio every morning with my coffee and reading, and then, after work in the evenings, just relaxing and taking in the sounds of the birds talking to one another, the wind rustling through the leaves of all my neighbors' trees (and the occasional annoying neighbors' barking dogs).

After about two weeks of this routine, I found myself relaxing one evening -- and I mean relaxing! Head back, chin up, closed eyes, inhaling and exhaling, just trying to find the stillness within. Once grounded, I slowly open my eyes and find this full-grown weed growing out from the top of my aluminum patio cover. Upon further examination, I found several more weeds sprouting from the patio cover. I guess there has been enough debris built up over time that the weeds had enough to germinate and grow. So now it seems I’ve found my next project: cleaning the aluminum patio covering of all the debris. Christopher Smith

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